By Luke Kerr-Dineen
But it's the brilliant minds over at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for
Research and Technology (SMART), in collaboration with the Future Urban Mobility Interdisciplinary
Research Group (FM IRG), who could have closed the year with an invention
worthy of starting a new one. It's a driverless golf cart, fit with laser
sensors, computers and GPS satellites that together allow the cart to
The idea stems from the car manufacturing industry, where engineers are
testing cars that could one day do all the driving for you. Why? Because
it helps cut down on commuting time and may, in some cases, actually be
safer because computers can't experience emotions like fatigue or anger.
Could self-driving golf carts be a natural successor to driverless cars?
They might. They might even precede them, according to one of the carts
builders James Fu
, because right now one of these carts requires a
tolerance between 10 to 50 meters. That's space more suited to a rural
environment -- a golf course, for example -- rather than a city.
We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, here's what could prove to be
a glimpse into the future: